ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iranian government has temporarily halted the imminent execution of Kurdish political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, Panahi’s lawyer, spoke to Kurdistan 24 via Skype where he revealed that the Kurdish activist’s execution, planned for Thursday, had been halted “for now.”
“I have good news for you, we have continued efforts to call for Ramin’s freedom, and the execution date has been halted for now,” Niaz stated.
“We continue to call on the Iranian government to end their unjust trial against Ramin as there is not enough evidence to prove the claims that they have made against him,” the lawyer added.
Niaz noted that there are still fears that Panahi would be condemned to the death penalty, “but we are still working to end the sentence as Ramin is not a criminal, he is a child of Iran, a child of Kurdistan.”
Panahi’s father was present during the lawyer’s interview with Kurdistan 24 and said he hopes justice is served and his son is freed.
“I have not seen my son for three months, and I hope this [death] sentence against him is lifted. I hope those responsible for this do not succeed,” he said referring to the Iranian regime.
Panahi was handed the death penalty by an Iranian court in Sina on Jan. 15 for “acting against national security” and being a member of the Kurdish opposition group, Komala.
Niaz said he hoped the Iranian government considers all the evidence that they have provided proving the Kurdish activist’s innocence.
“Ramin is not a political person. He has never been involved in the crimes which they allege. It is clear that Ramin is innocent as the international community is behind him and has called for his freedom,” he said.
Amnesty International on Wednesday urged Iran to cancel the death penalty charging that Panahi had received an unfair trial and was likely a victim of torture at the hands of the Iranian government.
(Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 correspondent Trouska Sadeghi)